An incoming freshman at Los Altos High School has discovered ways to reuse old technology to benefit those in need.
Boy Scout Terence Lee recently launched his Triple “R” Eagle Service Project, teaming up with Sunday Friends to redeploy used laptops to support the nonprofit organization’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program.
Lee’s Triple “R” Eagle Service Project with Sunday Friends – a San Jose-based recipient of the Town Crier Holiday Fund – will recycle, refurbish and redeploy older, lower-performance laptop computers (Windows and Mac). Sunday Friends will provide the facilities for students to use the computers as part of its STEM outreach programs.
Lee said he chose the project because it addresses two problems with one solution.
First, students from low-income families do not have easy access to computers to review online educational content, such as Khan Academy, and may lack the necessary computer skills to excel at school.
Second, unwanted computers continue to fill local landfills, contaminating the environment with toxic chemicals.
“Environment and education are two issues that are dear to my heart,” Lee said.
As a third-grader in the Kiwanis Club’s K-Kids program, Lee said the “Share Our Spectacles” eyeglass collection project taught him a valuable lesson on how to recycle unwanted items to help others in need.
“This lesson from the ‘Share Our Spectacles’ program inspires me to pursue this Eagle Service Project,” he said.
Each Sunday, Sunday Friends hosts STEM-related activities and computer education for students and families.
“Sunday Friends recognizes that children who have positive experiences with STEM are more likely to apply themselves to learning STEM in school, which may lead to successful careers that build on STEM,” according to Sunday Friends’ website. “So, we combine play with STEM activities in each of our programs.”
Lee’s refurbished laptop donations will go toward improving the STEM offerings at Sunday Friends.
Lee has scheduled a refurbishing workshop 9-5 p.m. Saturday at Los Altos Lutheran Church, 460. S. El Monte Ave., where he will accept drop-offs.
With community support, unwanted, older but still functioning laptop computers can receive a purposeful second life in the redeployment program with Sunday Friends, Lee said.
Lee suggested that local residents contact their IT or community relations departments to gather used computers, power supplies, drivers or operating systems or donate old personal computer items no longer needed. Each laptop will be checked to ensure that it is functional with an appropriate power supply, operating system and all personal data removed prior to redeployment.